Pickup position for two humbuckers

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mr M, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. I'd be grateful if you can help me with this one:

    What should be the distance of neck and bridge pickups(from the nut)? The bass is a 34" 6 strings 24 frets and the pu's are Basslines ASB2 soapbars.

    Should they be in such a distance that they sould be under the harmonics points (e.g. virtual 36th fret)? If it's so when you say 36th fret and let's say it is 30" from the nut, how to align the pickups? I mean should I put such a way that the middle of the pickup is 30" from the nut or the upper side(the wide side near the neck) of the pickup should be 30" from the nut or the lower side..?

    I hesitated if this thread should go to pickups or setup but decided that it would fit here better.

    And yes I searched it before posting but couldn't find in the first ten search result page what I was looking for (OK I confess I'm a bit lazy ;) )

  2. Divine M, thanx for searching before asking but I think this is the first time this has been discussed here in Setup so there wasn't anything for you to find!

    Pickup placement is sort of a weird thing. Just about every maker has their own twist on just exactly where they should be. I own several 2 pup basses and each is different - some by a little, some by a lot. I can tell you this: placing a pup at an open harmonic point has little if any bearing on how the pup will sound when a string is fretted. After all the harmonic point has now changed and will continually change with each fretted note. Sorta hard to hit a moving target isn't it? Besides, if you analyze just what a harmonic point is, you'll find that it's a point (node) on a vibrating string that has little to no vibration compared to the points between harmonic nodes. I think that, in the end, it's going to boil down to just how you want the bass to be voiced that will determine the pup placement. My Jazzes are what they are because of their consistent "Jazz" spacing, my Kawai has a bright tone with it's pair just a bit further back towards the bridge. Then there's the idea of having more distance between the pups. This makes the pair have a very wide tonal variation for more combinations when used together. Over on the MIMF ( www.mimf.com ) where I get to see lots of interpretations of pup placement, it's all over the place. So, I don't think that there's any real scientific formula for placement. It's more a personal choice.
  3. Saint Hambone :) Thanks for the reply. It's great to always have the answer, thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    On the Bacon & Moorhouse's The Bass Book I've seen a pic of Leo Fender's test bass that he made with a G&L neck and a breadboard! as the bass body where it's seen that he was moving the pickups and trying to find where he gets better sound. Now it makes sense to me. It seems that it's better to copy the pickup positions of a 34" bass that I like.

    And for the mimf forum. It's a little bit too much for me, I can easily get lost in the subjects :D